GEORGE TOWN: Maizatul Abdullah’s life was already tough, being a divorcee and a single mother to her three children at her village home in Balik Pulau.
The 27-year-old earns slightly more than the minimum wage at an electronics factory in Bayan Lepas and has been the sole provider for her children over the past three years.
Her life took a turn for the worse on Aug 1 when a RapidPenang bus veered into her lane at 6.40am, crashing into a car and the motorcycle she was riding to work. She was left pinned under the car, unconscious.
The accident left her with multiple rib fractures, collapsed lungs, injured liver, shattered knees, a broken nose and a broken cheekbone.
She also fractured her skull and, as a result, suffered brain injury. She spent 15 days in the intensive care unit (ICU) and now struggles to walk and also has to wear a neck brace.
Maizatul’s siblings, Shafiq and Mariana, said their sister is no longer herself since the accident.
“She does not talk the same way any more. We are now helping her to take care of her children,” Mariana said.
The two people in the car that was involved in the crash were also injured badly.
Kindergarten teacher Lau Su Lan, 26, and her boyfriend, Voon Chi Cun, 29 were stuck inside their vehicle, which had turned turtle and landed on a guardrail as the bus veered into their lane.
Lau, who was driving the car, shattered her kneecaps, had her right femur shattered in four parts, and also had a broken elbow. She too suffered a traumatic knock to her head that resulted in brain injury and has left her with memory loss issues.
Lau was on her way to her kindergarten in Sungai Ara. Her engineer boyfriend Voon, who was supposed to drive her car back after she arrived at work, escaped with minor bruises.
“We were stuck in the car for nearly 30 minutes. My girlfriend was unconscious as we were stuck upside down,” Voon said.
Maizatul and Voon relayed their harrowing experience to DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng and Jelutong MP RSN Rayer yesterday. Lim said drivers of public transport vehicles that endanger the lives of others should be severely penalised, similar to drink driving.
He said the transport ministry should step in and investigate the accident since it involved a government-owned bus company.
“It is the responsibility of public transport operators to be extra careful as the lives of passengers and other road users are at stake. Today, the future of two women has been ruined due to the carelessness of the bus driver.
“Thankfully, footage from a dashcam camera showed clearly that the accident was solely the fault of the bus driver,” he said.
FMT has reached out to police and Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd for comment.